This recipe is a fantastic one for using up leftovers from a roast chicken dinner – or if you happen to grab an extra chook because it’s reduced at the shops, then this is a great use of the meat. Here, the pies were very popular and only lasted two days but if I had any left over I probably wouldn’t freeze them because of the white sauce. As I understand it, white sauce can separate when defrosting and that would be a disaster with the pastry – soggy pie: YUCK.
Whilst this does look a little involved, if you have the chicken and veg leftover already from last night’s dinner you really only have to deal with the white sauce and pastry. Both are crazy easy. This is a great recipe for a rainy day at home with kids. They love to run the butter into the flour (the hardest part) – mine do anyway!
The meat picked off a roast chicken
1 cob of corn, corn taken off
1 zucchini, grated
1 small red capsicum, chopped very finely
1/2 bunch kale, chopped very finely
1 leek, chopped very finely
Use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge. It all goes really well in this recipe.
..for the white sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups of milk
1 fistful of cheese (your choice)
Salt and pepper.
…for ze pastry:
3 cups plain flour
150g cold, unsalted butter, cubed
Now, The Method:
- Have the chicken meat picked off the carcass and put in fridge while you prepare everything else. Be sure to keep that carcass for stock!
- Measure out your flour and drop your buttery cubes into it. Rub the butter, using the tips of your fingers, into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add chilled water into your floury mixture a little at a time until it starts to come together and you have a dough. If it’s too sticky, add more flour and too dry, keep adding a little water. It should be smooth and stick together well. Wrap in Glad wrap/cling film and pop in fridge for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C and grease a large baking tray.
- Meanwhile, heat a heavy-bottomed frying pan on a low-medium heat and melt a tablespoon of butter. Add all the vegetables and sauté lightly until they have softened and broken down a little. Set to one side.
- In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat. When melted, take pan off heat and add the flour and stir. Put pan back on heat and start adding the milk (half a cup at a time) using a whisk to whisk the mixture all the time (this prevents it from getting lumpy). When all the milk has been added, take pan off the heat and stir in the cheese.
- Add sauteed vegetables and chicken meat to the white sauce and stir through.
- Get out the pastry from the fridge and roll out. Cut out 20cm (approximately) circles. Add a tablespoon of chicken and vegetable mixture in the middle and fold pastry over the top so you have little half moons (see image above). You can seal the pies shut by folding the pastry back on itself and squishing (as I did) or by brushing edge with egg and sealing with a fork. Place pies on a greased baking tray, brush the top with egg, if you like, and sprinkle with poppy seeds (optional). This recipe makes approximately 12 pies all up.
- Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. These are great hot for dinner with some steamed vegetables and superb the next day to pop in lunchboxes.